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15 creative uses for wood pallets

15 creative uses for wood pallets
Posted at 12:00 AM, Mar 26, 2024

Typically used when shipping large items, wooden pallets (sometimes called skids) also make for great DIY projects as their sturdy wood can be broken down and repurposed in numerous ways.

Depending on what’s being shipped, pallets will come in various sizes and dimensions. This variability adds to the wide range of projects you can make with them.

Where can you find pallets? Stores that receive many deliveries will often discard pallets when everything’s been unloaded, and you may be able to snag a few for free. Start by visiting or calling your local hardware, home improvement and furniture stores. Check Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and other online marketplaces for other pallet sources, too.

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With endless possibilities for these wooden frames, all you need is a little imagination and some DIY time and talent, and you can transform a wood pallet into a decorative piece of furniture, art, garden fixture and more. If you don’t quite have all the equipment you need, you might be able to keep your budget low by borrowing home tools from your local library.

Here are 15 ways that wooden pallets can be repurposed in useful and imaginative ways.

1. Standing Wall Garden

rainbow painted pallet standing garden

Because of the space between each slat in a pallet, they make for a great way to get plants like herbs, flowers and vegetables into a smaller space. Texas A&M has a tutorial on how to start a vertical garden, which can both save you space and look great!

It’s important to double check that the pallet wood you are using has not been treated with methyl bromide — look for an MB stamp and avoid those pallets along with color-treated pallets. You’ll also want to check your pallet wood for any weird stains or leaks that might look like bacteria from food that was transported on it, or oil or other unknown substances has soaked into the wood. Wood is highly porous and sanding or cleaning may not remove harmful germs.

MORE: Here’s how to remove water stains from wood

2. Coffee Table

Palette coffee table

Something as simple as adding wheels and sheet of glass to a pallet can transform it into an easy-to-move and beautiful coffee table. You can also leave room to store books and other items inside a pallet table, like in this YouTube tutorial by Justina Blakeney:

If your style is more mid-century than farmhouse, try this tutorial from YouTuber Steve Bell, who shows you how he made a very posh looking, mid-century modern coffee table from start to finish, including how he likes to break apart pallets to get ready for building.

3. Storage for Kids’ Rooms

pallet window kids storage

Using pallets for a bookshelf, toy chest or storage bin can be an affordable and useful way to store books, toys and other knick knacks. Or, stack reworked pallet wood for stepping stools that can also hold kid paraphernalia.

You can also make pallet bins for your fur children’s food and toys. (And speaking of bins, you can make a pallet shelter to hide your trash bins, too.)

4. Shoe Organizer


DIY shoe rack made out of all recycled pallets and scrap pieces laying around! #woodworking #wood #woodtok #woodworkingtiktok

♬ original sound – Brody Walker

Shoes stack perfectly into pallets. So that makes a DIY pallet shoe rack a great project, whether you’re a household that prefers shoes off indoors or you just want a nice way to keep your shoes organized.

Above, you can see how TikTok user Brody Walker shared how he transformed a few pallets and scrap wood into a three-shelf shoe rack.

5. Swing

pallet swing

Using rope or chain, you can suspend a pallet and transform it into a nice place to relax on the porch, patio, or under a tree. The Sorry Girls have a tutorial on how to make your own pallet swing with comfy cushions on top.

Make sure to secure your swing well when hanging to avoid any unexpected crashes to the ground while enjoying your DIY swing.

6. Bar


#fyp #foryou #bar #palletbar #diy #renovationchallenge #renovation #palletfurniture

♬ Escape (the Pina Colada Song) – The Hitters

Putting a sturdy countertop on some pallets can turn into your very own outdoor bar. You can also watch a number of TikTok videos showing ways to put your own spin on pallet bar including Charlotte.r.b’s video above. Add some pallet stools to go with the bar for a complete set up.

7. Dog House or Bed

pallet wood dog house with shingle roof

You can use pallets for basic platforms for a dog house or bed. Or break them down and rebuild them into dog houses and fancy wooden bed boxes for Fido. HGTV has instructions for a simple outdoor bed, and Saved By Love Creations has a fun, two-tier indoor dog bed.

If you’re looking for a dog house how-to, Nikita Maree has a YouTube tutorial on how she made her dog a pallet wood house.

8. Bed

pallet bed

Perhaps one of the more common pallet projects, a pallet bed doesn’t have to be just a stack of pallets on the ground with a mattress on top. You can get creative with using the wood planks for a headboard and add more features like built-in bookshelves.

If your extra ambitious and handy, you can even work lights into a pallet headboard so you have built-in illumination at nighttime.

9. Wall Art and Frames

wood pallet wall stained different colors

Paint over a pallet to make a decorative focal point for your wall. TikTok user WrecklessJen got creative and made an American flag from pallet wood. And Liz Marie has a detailed tutorial for the same.

You can also create a rustic wood accent wall using pallet wood instead of say shiplap or barn wood. You can stain, sand, paint, burn and transform these wooden frames in numerous ways. You can also reuse them in picture frames.

10. Flower Box

painted pallet flower and plant boxes

You can also use wooden pallets to make raised garden beds and boxes, planters and even rustic table centerpieces. Use them both indoors and outdoors and fill them with all types of green goodness.

Like with a standing, vertical or wall garden made from pallet wood, make sure the wood you use for planter boxes has not been treated with any harmful chemicals.

11. Ottoman

Pallet ottoman on wheels

Add padding, fabric, and decorative legs to a pallet, and you’ve got yourself an ottoman. HGTV has a step-by-step tutorial for making your own. You can add on wheels to make your ottoman moveable as well.

Plus a pallet wood ottoman can serve as a coffee table and offer storage depending on how you built it.

12. Desk Storage

Pallet desk organizer

Add a pallet to a table top to add instant cubbies for a desk. You can also modify a pallet to stand or be attached to a wall vertically for storage above a desk. Or use the slats from pallets to build a whole new desk you might not even realize was made from this scrap shipping wood without knowing how it was built.

13. Stools

blue painted pallet stool with white cushion

Make some stools from pallet wood for extra seating or to have at your kitchen bar by stacking a few pallets and adding some cushions or upholstery on top. You can also make a stepping stool with no extra materials on top for a sturdy climbing surface.

14. Kitchen Storage

Go for a rustic chic look in your kitchen and use a pallet as a pot rack. Or reuse the wooden frames to make a spice rack or other storage shelves for items like dry goods, dishes, cookware and mugs.

Above, X user Randy van der Vlag showed off the mug rack he made for his wife from pallet wood stained a deep brown and with added hooks for each mug handle.

15. Bench

white painted pallet bench with pillows and blanket

A DIY project can turn wood pallets into a bench that makes for great outdoor seating but can also work well inside. Think entryway bench for putting on and taking off shoes. And you can even up the functionality and add upholstered cushions to elevate your bench into a comfortable couch or sofa.

Wooden pallets are a cheap and sturdy building material for so many kinds of projects. Snag some free or cheap pallets for yourself and get creating!

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